Bean there, done that

Published: Sep 25, 2019, 07:36 IST | Dalreen Ramos

A popular Indonesian coffee chain makes its way to India with pocket-friendly fare, good service and glitter coffee

FOOD: FLAVOURFUL
AMBIANCE: WARM
SERVICE: PROMPT
COST: REASONABLE
VERDICT: 1/4

After spending hours in a mall, the food court seems to turn into a second home. You grab a seat, drop your bags, breathe a sigh of relief and try to make up your mind about which QSR deserves your money. But Lower Parel’s High Street Phoenix isn’t quite structured that way; here, you find QSRs spread across the mall and not concentrated on a dedicated floor. And since there’s always a trade-off between money and ambience, finding the right restaurant is quite the gamble.

cafeMushroom butter garlic

When we come across Wake Cup, a popular Indonesian coffee chain tucked away by the mall’s Skyzone building, it seems like a quiet place to settle into after a hectic day. But what surprises us is the pocket-friendly fare — the fact that you could grab a pocket waffle for R59 and espresso for R99. Late evening, on a Monday, the space is empty and the staff is warm and welcoming. The walls are decorated with quirky art and frames with portraits of Mona Lisa and Albert Einstein drinking coffee.

cafeThe silver spoon

The café’s specialty is its glitter latte that is served in two variants — the gold digger (Rs249) and the silver spoon (Rs229). We choose the latter and also pick the salted caramel popcorn frappe (Rs179). Both arrive in 10 minutes. The silver spoon, a taro latte dusted with edible glitter, is not only pleasing to the eye but also proves to be a good option for those who do not have a sweet tooth. There’s a hint of vanilla and the glitter isn’t distracting. The frappe, on the other hand, is a creamy blend that isn’t too chilled, like most QSRs. And though there’s a fair bit of caramel, it’s a task to find the popcorn. If it’s any warning, both drinks come in large servings, so the order for your food — only vegetarian — must be measured accordingly.

For appetizers, we pick mushroom butter garlic (Rs149) and green peas kebab (Rs169). For the mains, we settle for a pizza milano masala (Rs249). The mushrooms are served for a chopping board and so it’s up to the customer to do all the saving as the liquid oozes all over the table. We inform the staff who quickly get a plate. The taste compensates for the mishap: the shrooms are cooked to perfection and the garlic adds the right amount of crunch. The kebabs, on the other hand, are soft but could’ve been spicier. The 10-inch pizza surprises us; we expected it to be a couple of inches smaller given the price. Laden with paneer, the thick crust is the star of the dish. Given its tanginess, it’s best to not dip a slice in ketchup.

cafePizza milano masala

Wake Cup does need some waking up to do but compared to the QSR and fine-dine options in the mall, it serves as a sort of middle-ground. It’s a place for those who aren’t looking to spend a bomb but value their privacy while eating and wish to avoid long queues.

And if not for the food, you can always return for the glitter. We will surely keep an eye out for a seat here.

cafeSalted popcorn caramet frappe

At Wake Cup Coffee and Eatery, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
Time 9 am to 12 am
Call 7021463687

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